Name a famous Mockney

Mick Jagger E-book

Philip Norman

Mick Jagger

The biography

Translated from the English by Gabriele Gockel, Sonja Schumacher and Maria Zybak

Knaur e-books

about this book

He is the greatest star in rock history. With his roaring voice and provocative show, Mick Jagger still brings football stadiums to a boil even fifty years after the Rolling Stones was founded. Songs like Satisfaction, Jumpin 'Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man are eternal rock'n'roll anthems - full of sex and rebellion.

Contents overview

EINS The Blues is in himPROLOG1 Flexible as rubber2 The boy in the cardigan3 Lively, highly motivated marauders4 Self-esteem? If he hadn't5 "What a cheeky little lout", I thought6 "We often sat in bed for hours solving crossword puzzles" 7 "We piss where we want, man" 8 Secrets from the lair of pop stars9 The fleeting butterfly10 "Mick Jagger and Fred Engels on the street fight "TWO compulsive coolness11" The baby's dead, my lady said "12 My prince will come13 Strong as a lion14 As dangerous as last week's salad15 Friendship with additional benefits16 The Glamor Twins17" Old wild men, waiting for miracles «18 The sweet scent of success19 Diary of a nobody20 Wandering Spirit21» God Gave Me Everything «POSTSKRIPTUMBildteil

PROLOG

Sympathy for the old devil

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts rarely faces violent attacks, but in February 2009 it was the focus of indignant headlines in the rainbow press. Their annual awards ceremony (an event that is said to come right after the Hollywood Oscars) was to be hosted by Jonathan Ross, an extremely rude talk show host who was the most obnoxiously reputable person on British radio at the time. A few weeks earlier, during a prime-time radio broadcast on the BBC, Ross had left a series of obscene slogans on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs, who had starred in the comedy series Fawlty Towers. Ross was then released from his numerous BBC engagements for three months, while comedian Russel Brand, his accomplice in the evil prank (he had boasted live on the radio that he had "banged" Sachs' granddaughter), bowed to the pressure and vacated his post. Since the 1990s, comedy has been considered the "new rock’ n ’roll" in England. And suddenly here were two of their most important representatives, who tried to be just as cheeky as the rock stars of yore.

At the award ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, an extremely prominent audience - including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Sir Ben Kingsley, Kevin Spacey and Kristin Scott Thomas - experienced two other surprises in addition to the announcement of the winners. First of all, that the expletive language one might have expected from H. Jonathan Ross came from Mickey Rourke, who was named Best Actor for his role in The Wrestler. With a shaggy mane, unshaven and barely understandable (the representatives of the film industry have also made loud claims to the genre of "new rock 'n' roll") Rourke thanked his director for giving him a second chance after he had "had a career of fifteen years." long messed up. He felt obliged to his press agent, "because he told me where to go and what to do, when to do it, what to eat and what to wear and who to fuck ...".

After Rourke's appearance, Ross joked that Rourke would now have to prepare for the same punishment as he had after his "Sachsgate" and that he would be banned from appearing for three months. But then his tone became downright submissive. The penultimate trophy of the evening, for best film, he explained, was given by an "actor and lead singer of one of the best rock bands in history," to whom this elegant auditorium, with its red and gold ranks, "may seem more like a modest venue «. Almost a sacrilege in this temple, which is used to the sounds of Mozart, Wagner and Puccini, when the sound system played the intro to "Brown Sugar", the rock anthem published in 1971 about drugs, slavery and cunnilingus between black and white. Yes, indeed, the award was supposed to be given by Sir Mick Jagger.

Jagger didn't just jump onto the podium, he stepped forward over the red carpet from the back of the stage so that the television viewers could enjoy the miracle in full length: the still full hair, cut in a youthful retro style à la sixties, without a trace of gray; an unobtrusive designer suit, which at the same time emphasized the slim body and the springy, athletic step. Only the face betrayed the sixty-five years of a man born in the middle of World War II - the famous lips that were once said to "suck the egg out of the ass of a chicken" were now thin and bloodless, the cheeks were wrinkled, as wide and deep as symmetrically arranged scars.

But he received an applause that seemed less suited to the Royal Opera House or the British Association for Film and Television Arts than to Wembley Stadium or any other stage for an open-air concert. Despite all the many genres of the "new" rock 'n' roll, everyone knows that there is really only one and that Mick Jagger is his undisputed embodiment. He replied with his irresistible smile, a hoarse “Allaw!” And then with an unexpected flash of old Stones subversity: “You see? You thought Jonathan was using all the fuck words and it was Mickey. "

As usual, he changed his voice to suit the occasion. For decades Jagger spoke in a fake cockney known as a "mockney" or the Greater London accent. With the deformed, elongated vowels and swallowed "T" s, it was considered the epitome of youthfulness and coolness in Great Britain. But here, among the stars of English diction, every "T" could be heard crystal clear, every "H" touched to the point as he said it was an honor for him to be here that evening and how it came about was ...

The pretty little joke that followed was right in the middle between reverence and mockery. He was here, he said, “as part of the rock star-movie star exchange program ... Right now, 'Sir' Ben Kingsley (with a slightly ironic emphasis on the title, although he also wore it) is singing 'Brown Sugar' at the Grammy Awards ‹... and› Sir ‹Anthony Hopkins is in the recording studio with Amy Winehouse ...› Lady ‹Judy Dench is somewhere in the US, bravely dismantling hotel rooms ... and we hope that› Sir ‹Brad and the Pitt family will be at the Brit Awards next week as the Trapp family. «(Cut to Kevin Spacey and Meryl Streep laughing while Angelina explains the joke to Brad.)

Upon opening the envelope, Jagger announced that the award for best film would go to Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (as many used to call him). But no one doubted who was the real winner of the evening. Jagger just had the biggest hit since ... oh - since 1981 "Start Me Up". "You have to do a lot if you want to shine in this place," said one academician. "But he did it."

Half a century earlier, when the Rolling Stones were head-to-head with the Beatles, young Mick Jagger was asked the same question over and over in a desperate attempt to get something enlightening or perhaps even intelligent out of him: Will he also sing "Satisfaction" when he is thirty?

In those innocent years at the beginning of the sixties, pop music was solely the territory of the youth and, it was believed, was therefore subject to the volatility of youth. Even the most successful groups - including the Beatles - expected to be ousted from their place at the top by newcomers after a few months at the most. Back then, one would never have expected that some of these supposedly fleeting songs would still be played a generation later. And just as little that many of the supposedly interchangeable singers and bands still pursue their trade in retirement and would be welcomed with the same enthusiasm by the audience as long as they could drag themselves onto the stage.

In terms of longevity, the Stones outperform all rivals. The Beatles existed as an international live band for just three years and only nine in total (if you subtract the two they spent having a bitter split-up argument). Other first-guard sixties bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Who drifted in different directions over time and then reformed when they were not torn apart by alcohol or drugs. The deadly boredom they felt when they kept playing the old titles with the old people was alleviated by a handsome reward. Only the Stones, once the most volatile of them all, rolled on from decade to decade, then from one century to the next. They survived the spectacular death of one member and the bitterness and resignation of two others (as well as internal intrigues to which the Medicis would have taken their hats), left generations of wives and lovers behind, outlasted two managers, nine British Prime Ministers and the same number American President. They were immune to changing musical fads, gender politics, and social norms, and even when they were sixty they surrounded themselves with the same sulphurous touch of wickedness and rebellion as in their twenties. The Beatles embody eternal charm, the Stones eternal provocation.

In the course of the decades, since their heyday together, hardly anything has changed in the essential elements of pop music, of course. Every new generation of musicians strikes the same chords in the same sequence, uses the same terms of love, lust and longing. And every new generation of fans is looking for the same kind of male idol with the same kind of sex appeal, the same repertoire of gestures, idiosyncrasies and the same expression of coolness.

The concept of a rock "band" - a group of young musicians bound in fame, wealth, and sexual opportunities that their peers in military service or in the northern mining towns - was well established by the time the Stones approached made the start, and hasn't changed in the least since then. And although the pop industry is mostly about illusion, exploitation and artificially inflated sensations and after decades of rap the impression may arise that original melodies and lyrics have become superfluous, the truth is that real talent always prevails and survives becomes. From the big rebellious hits like “Jumpin 'Jack Flash” or “Street Fighting Man” to lesser known earlier tracks like “Off the Hook” or “Play With Fire” and the R&B cover versions that came before them, the music of the Stones sounds so fresh and fresh aggressive, as if it was only picked up yesterday.

You are also still a role model for every band that makes it up - spoiled boyish potentates who loll around in the flickering flashing light on the sofa and parry the same stupid reporter questions with the same sarcastic answers. The type of tour they developed in the sixties is what everyone still wants: private planes, limousines, roadies, groupies, devastated hotel suites. Even the most detailed depictions of monotony and the harmful effects on mental health cannot harm the myth of the tour, the evocation of perpetual »sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll« - such as Christopher Guest's brilliant and gripping depiction of a slightly underexposed supergroup on tour in his feature film This Is Spinal Tap. But despite all their efforts, none of their young students has been able to pave a comparable path through the world as the Stones on tour forty years ago. Nor could they even remotely attain comparable levels of arrogance, licentiousness, hysteria, paranoia, violence, vandalism, and unrestrained pleasure.

Mick Jagger in particular is unique at whatever age. More than anyone else, Jagger has shown how a simple singer in a band can become a rock »star«. Clearly set apart from his bandmates (which meant a profound change at a time when groups like the Beatles, Hollies, Searchers and others were performing together), it was he who was able to awaken the most varied of fantasies in a huge crowd, then direct and finally master them. Keith Richards, the second figurehead of the Stones, is a gifted guitarist (and the most amazing survivor of rock), but he belongs to the ranks of troubadours, such as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Django Reinhardt and then Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Noel Gallagher and Pete Doherty were embodied. Jagger, on the other hand, founded a new species and gave it an expression that has not yet been improved. Among his rivals as a rock stage artist, only Jim Morrison of The Doors had developed his own style of singing into the microphone: he gently cupped it with his fingers like a frightened chick instead of swinging it like a phallus in the style of Jagger. Since the 1970s there have been many more talented rock bands with a large international fan base and undeniably charismatic lead singers: Freddie Mercury from Queen, Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Bono from U2, Michael Hutchence from INXS, Axl Rose from Guns N ’Roses. Even if they presented their own distinctive sound on records, they had no choice but to follow in Mick Jagger's footsteps on stage.

As a sex symbol, it can only be compared with Rudolfo Valentino, the silent film star with the nickname »the Sheikh«, who in the 1920s sparked the exciting fantasy of women being thrown over the saddle and dragged into a Bedouin tent. Jagger is more in the direction of great ballet dancers like Nijinsky or Nurejew, whose apparent androgyny was belied by their lustful looks at the ballerinas and the curvature of their waistband. The Stones were one of the first rock bands with a logo, and even for the revolting early 1970s it was downright drastic - a bright red graphic of Jagger's mouth, luscious lips slightly parted with familiar shamelessness, and tongue stuck out to something unknown but sure no ice cream to lick. The "Lapping Tongue", still featured on all Stones publications and fan articles, shows who is in charge in all areas. By today's criteria, one can hardly imagine a more drastic symbol of old-fashioned male chauvinism - and yet it achieves its goal as ever. Women of the 21st century, liberated like no generation before, perk up their ears when they hear Jagger's name, while those who were fascinated by him in the 20th century continue to listen to him. I had just started this book when I mentioned the subject to my table companion at a dinner party, a mature English woman who appeared dignified and controlled. Instead of answering me, she reenacted the scene from Harry and Sally in which Meg Ryan faked an orgasm in a busy restaurant: “Mick Jagger? Oh yeah! Yes Yes Yes!"

Sex symbols are known for not doing justice to their public image in private life, as Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and above all Elvis Presley show us. But in the oversexualized world of rock, actually in the entire annals of show business, there is no one who can compete with Mick Jagger as Casanova of modern times. One wonders which philanderers in the past centuries had found so many sexual partners and whether they, too, were often spared the tedious skirmish of seduction. And certainly none of them, like Jagger, retained his productivity into middle or old age (Casanova was exhausted in her mid-thirties). What Swift calls the "loin frenzy" is now diagnosed as sex addiction and can be cured with therapy. But Jagger never revealed that he had a problem with it.

At the sight of this furrowed face one tries in vain to visualize the immeasurable worldly banquet that he feasted on without ever getting full ... the endless succession of beautiful faces and shining willing eyes ... the countless phrases ... the countless beds, Sofas, pillows pushed together or back seats ... the ever new voices, smells, skin tones, hair colors ... the names that were forgotten again, if they were even mentioned. Old men are often haunted in their dreams or daydreams by the women they want. In this fantasy Mick would see something like one of the outdated parades of the Soviet Army in Red Square. And at least one of these magnificent soldiers is sitting in the audience at the BAFTA ceremony that day, not far from Brad Pitt.

By law, his scandals from the 1960s should have been forgotten for decades, erased by the countless youthful sins of today's pop stars, soccer players, supermodels and TV actors in reality soaps. But the Sixties have a stubborn appeal, especially among those too young to remember - an attitude psychologists have known as "memoryless nostalgia." For British youth, Jagger is the embodiment of the "Swinging Sixties": their freedom, their lust for pleasure and the setback that finally followed them. Even very young people have heard of his 1967 drug raid, or at least the Mars bar that played the obnoxious lead in it. Few people, however, know the vengeance with which the British establishment pursued him in that so-called Summer of Love, when the funny, eloquent ennobled speaker of that evening was reviled and brought before the court like a long-haired antichrist in handcuffs, to be tried in a show trial of almost to condemn medieval-grotesque features and throw them into prison.

Mick Jagger is arguably the best example of what is clichéd as a survivor in show business. But while other members of this species usually end up as old sacks with overweight and gray ponytails, he has not changed - except for his face - since his first steps on stage. While most others clouded their minds with drugs or alcohol, he still has all his powers, not least his famous instinct for what's trendy, cool, and chic. While others whine about the sums they've lost or cheated out of, he leads history's highest-earning band that survives solely on his cleverness and determination. Without Mick, the Stones would have been over in 1968. He turned a band of long-haired outsiders into a national treasure as recognized in Great Britain as Shakespeare or the White Cliffs of Dover.

But behind the adoration, the wealth and the abundant "satisfaction" hides the story of a promising talent who - almost out of defiance - never got a chance in all these years. Among his halfway intelligent contemporaries, only John Lennon had the same potential as he to go beyond the boundaries of pop. Although Mick, as introduced by Jonathan Ross at the BAFTA awards, was undoubtedly an actor and had played roles in both film and television, he could have had as successful a film career as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra in addition to music. He could also have used his power over the public to become a politician, or a leading figure like the world has never seen - until today. He could also have developed the (often unnoticed) brilliance of his best lyrics into real poetry or prose like Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney. But at least he could have become a first-class independent stage artist instead of always remaining just the frontman of a band. But somehow he didn't accomplish any of that. His career as a film actor stalled in 1970 and then never really picked up again, despite dozens of interesting roles. He merely toyed with the idea of ​​going into politics, and he never showed any serious writing ambitions. With the solo career he waited until the mid-1980s and thus encountered so many reservations with the other Stones, especially Keith that he was faced with the choice of either giving up or risking the collapse of the band. So he's still just her frontman and does the same thing he did when he was eighteen.

And then there is the mystery of how a man who excites millions, who is undoubtedly highly intelligent and astute, can suddenly become so unattractive when he opens his famous mouth to speak. Ever since the media followed Jagger's steps, his traditional quotes have always been of a non-binding contentlessness that is usually only known from the British royal family. If one reaches for one of the many books with self-testimony of the Stones that have appeared in the last four decades, one immediately recognizes that Mick's statements are always the briefest and most meaningless. In 1983 he signed a contract with the British publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson to write an autobiography for the then enormous sum of one million pounds. It was to become the show business insider story of the century. But the manuscript, written by a ghostwriter, was dead boring, according to the publisher, and the entire advance payment had to be paid back.

Mick said at the time that he "couldn't remember anything". Of course, he didn't mean his place of birth or his mother's name, but the later private experiences that Weidenfeld were then worth a million pounds for and for which a publisher would like to pay five times as much today. This is what you hear from him again and again as soon as you approach him about a book or when a reporter urges him to take a position on certain things. Sorry, he couldn't remember, everything was "like in a fog".

The image of a man who lost his memory thirty years ago as if under an early Alzheimer's attack is of course pure nonsense, as anyone who knows him can attest. It's a convenient ploy for getting out of the way, a strategy he has perfected to the highest art. That saved him from having to retire with a ghostwriter for boring months or having to answer embarrassing questions about his love life. But this also wipes out the ups and downs of a career that is exemplary in his industry. How can you "forget" all of this? For example, meeting Andrew Loog Oldham, living together with Marianne Faithfull or refusing to appear on a revolving stage at the London Palladium? How can he forget that he was in Brixton Prison, that he appeared in Cecil Beaton's diary, or that he was spat at on the streets of New York? That he was the subject of an editorial in the London Times, fired Allen Klein, and refused to let himself be disturbed by the murderous Hells Angels at the Altamont Festival? That he was married in front of the world's press in Saint-Tropez, that his fingerprints were taken in Rhode Island and that Steven Spielberg fell on his knees in front of him? That Andy Warhol played jade with his daughter, that he was haunted by naked women with dyed green pubic hair in Montauk, or that he made a quarter of a million people in Hyde Park silently listen to Shelley's verses?

Mick Jagger is a person full of contradictions: capable of extraordinary achievements without these achievements seeming to mean anything to him, highly extroverted, but always careful about discretion, an egoist like no other who does not like to talk about himself. Charlie Watts, the Stones' drummer, and someone who has evaded the madness the most, put it in a nutshell: “Mick doesn't care what happened yesterday. He's only interested in tomorrow. "

So let's take a closer look at what happened yesterday. Maybe we can refresh his memory.

To become what we call a "star", you need more than exceptional talent in one of the performing arts: Obviously, you have to feel an inner emptiness, as unfathomable and black as the starlight is bright and radiant.

Normal, happy, even-tempered people tend not to become stars. Most of them are people who experienced trauma or deprivation in their early years. This experience drives them to earn fortune and fame at all costs, and feeds their insatiable hunger for love and public attention. On the one hand, we give them an almost divine status, but at the same time see them as highly vulnerable beings, tormented by the demons of the past and fears of the present, condemned to destroy their talent and ultimately themselves with drugs or alcohol or both. That was true for the most colorful names, for stars who were famous all over the world from the middle of the 20th century: Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Edith Piaf to Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse. One or more of these characteristics applied to all of them. Then why not for Mick Jagger too?

With his first breath, Jagger escaped all clichés. We usually assume that stars are born under unpromising circumstances that make their eventual success even more spectacular - a pitiful, clay-floored shack in Mississippi ... a shabby port city ... the cloakroom of a sleazy variety theater ... a slum in Paris. The fact that someone comes from a relatively pleasant, if not very inspiring, background in the English county of Kent does not meet our expectations.

The south of England has always been the wealthiest and most privileged part of the country, although the counties around London are often pejoratively referred to as the "home counties". The easternmost in this county is Kent, bounded to the north by the Thames estuary, to the south by the legendary white cliffs near Dover and the English Channel. Like its most famous twentieth-century son, Kent has very different sides. For some it is the "Garden of England" with its forest-covered green hills (the Weald), its apple and cherry groves and the hop fields, its conical barns made of red bricks in which the hops are dried. Others think of Kent of the imposing history of Canterbury Cathedral, where the "rebellious priest" Thomas Beckett met his death, or of stately mansions like Knole and Sissinghurst, of the faded splendor of Victorian seaside resorts like Margate and Broadstairs. Still others associate Kent with country cricket, Charles Dickens' pickwickers, or the honorable resort town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, whose residents are so eager to write letters to the editor that they have become synonymous with angry older Britons who go against contemporary morality and modernity Taking customs to the field (such people will play no small part in our story).

Since Julius Caesar's legionaries waded to the beach at Walmer 2000 years ago, Kent has been mainly a transit area - for Chaucer's pilgrims who came "from all ends" to get to Canterbury, for the armies who went to war on the continent moved, for today's traffic to and from the canal ports in Dover and Folkestone and to the "Chunnel", the tunnel under the English Channel. It is therefore difficult to determine the real, primeval character of this county. There is certainly a typical mumble there that sounds different than in neighboring Sussex and has different characteristics from town to town, if not town to town. The predominant accent, however, is that of the metropolis, which merges seamlessly into the county on the northern border. The first linguistic imperialists were Cockneys from the East End of London, who flocked to work in the summer to help with the hop harvest. London slang has been ubiquitous ever since, thanks to the advance of the “dormitory cities” for the capital's office workers.

The name "Jagger" does not originally come from Kent or London - even if there is a London lawyer named Jaggers in Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations - but from the region around Halifax in Yorkshire about three hundred kilometers further north. It is true that the most famous bearer of this name in his phase as "Street Fighting Man" liked to emphasize the relationship to "jagged" (jagged), which, as he claims, used to mean something like "slicer" or "gangster"; but ultimately the name is derived from the old English "jag", the term for "bundle" or "load" and referred to a carter, street vendor or peddler. The name Jagger only achieved modest fame before Mick: The engineer Joseph Hobson Jagger developed a successful roulette system at the time of Queen Victoria and thus possibly inspired a composer to write the popular hit "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo". The family could therefore rely on a certain amount of experience when it came to hitting the jackpot.

Mick's father, however, did not pursue such disgraceful monetary goals. Basil Fanshawe Jagger - commonly known as Joe - was born in 1913 and grew up in a family that upheld decency and charity. His Yorkshire father was the principal of a one-class village school where the children sat on long wooden benches and wrote on blackboards with pens. Although Joe was short and skinny, he proved to be a good athlete in all athletics disciplines. Shaped by his parents' house and idealistic selflessness, he decided to pursue a career as a sports teacher. He studied at the Universities of Manchester and London and began working as a physical education teacher at the state East Central School in Dartford, Kent in 1938.

With its location in the far north-west of the county, Dartford is almost an eastern London suburb, especially since the major stations of the metropolis, Victoria Station and Charing Cross, can be reached by train in just under thirty minutes. The place is located in the Darent river valley on the former pilgrims' route to Canterbury and was the starting point of Wat Tyler's peasant revolt against King Richard II's poll tax in 1381 (so there were rebels here already back then.) Today, Dartford is almost exclusively (for but daily) mentioned in the radio traffic reports: in the reports for the tunnel under the Thames and the adjacent bridge, the Dartford / Thurrock Crossing on the main arterial road from London towards the south coast. Dartford itself is little more than a name on a street sign or on the train indicators on the platform; thanks to office complexes, shopping centers and the increasing number of commuter settlements, its past as a market town and brewery town has been forgotten. For the last few years of Queen Victoria's reign, a nearby hamlet called Stone (what a coincidence) has been a daunting facility, once known as the East London Lunatic Asylum, until recently it was tactfully dubbed the Stone House.

In early 1940, the quiet, withdrawn Joe Jagger met the lively, extroverted Eva Ensley Scutts, who was then twenty-seven. Her family originally came from Greenhithe, Kent, but had emigrated to New South Wales, Australia, where Eva was born in 1913 (the same year as Joe). Towards the end of the First World War, her mother left her father and returned to England with Eva and her four siblings to settle in Dartford. Allegedly Eva was always a little ashamed of her birth in »Down Under« and put on an exaggerated upper-class accent so that no Australian nagging sounded through. However, in those years all decent young girls, like London debutantes and the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, made an effort to speak. And for Eva's professional activity (she first worked as a secretary and later as a cosmetics consultant) that was useful anyway.

When Joe courted Eva, England was in the grim first act of World War II, when it fought alone against Hitler's occupation army in France and the Fiihrer glanced across the English Channel at Dover's white cliffs with a complacency, as if they were already in his Possession. In the summer the Battle of Britain began, and in the sunny Kent sky the white contrails of British and German fighter pilots appeared, fighting high above the cornfields, the hop kilns and the rolling green hills. Although there were no significant military facilities in Dartford, bombs from the German Air Force landed there regularly, which were actually intended for the factories and docks in nearby Chatham and Rochester and in east London.In addition, there were numerous bombs that the Germans dropped aimlessly before their flight home - with terrible consequences. One such bomb killed thirteen people on Kent Road, and another hit the county hospital and wiped out two fully occupied women's wards.

Joe and Eva were married on December 7, 1940 at Holy Trinity Church in Dartford, where Eva sang in the church choir. Instead of the usual white she wore a dress made of lilac silk, and Joe's brother Alfred took over the role of bride and groom. After the wedding, a reception was held at the nearby Coneybeare Hall to which only fifty guests had been invited because of the war - and also because Joe was indebted to the prevailing ethos of frugality and renunciation. They toasted the newlyweds with Old Brown Sherry and ate sandwiches with canned meat and scrambled eggs from powdered eggs.